Murtada Alsaif

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Murtada is a practicing pharmacist with over 10 years experience in the industry and is currently working for a pharmaceutical consultancy. He gained his MPharm at the School of Pharmacy, UCL, and has recently completed a PhD in Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge. His PhD project attempted to proteomically characterise bipolar disorder and cross-compare the protein signature in the brain and the periphery. He has contributed to several published research articles in peer-reviewed journals.


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Should people with schizophrenia be offered depot antipsychotics as first line treatment?


Murtada Alsaif reports on a new nationwide Swedish cohort study that explores the real-world effectiveness of oral and depot antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia.

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Diet and depression: can we eat our way out of clinical depression? The ‘SMILES’ trial


Murtada Alsaif chews over the SMILES RCT of dietary improvement for adults with major depression, which reports encouraging results for healthy diet in people with depression.

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Antidepressants for bipolar depression: weighing up the benefits and harms


Murtada Alsaif considers a recent systematic review on the safety and efficacy of adjunctive second-generation antidepressant therapy with a mood stabiliser or an atypical antipsychotic in acute bipolar depression.

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ITI-007 for schizophrenia


Murtada Alsaif summarises a recent 4-week long phase II randomised controlled trial of ITI-007 for the treatment of schizophrenia, which contains some positive results for this novel intervention.

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Antipsychotics for treatment-resistant schizophrenia


Murtada Alsaif summarises a recent network meta-analysis, which looks at the efficacy, acceptability and tolerability of antipsychotics for treatment-resistant schizophrenia.

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Is it bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder?


Murtada Alsaif considers the challenges facing psychiatrists in diagnosing bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. He reports on a recent qualitative study that explores the practical experience of psychiatrists and nurses and concludes that clinical diagnostic practice cannot reliably distinguish the two conditions.

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Biological pathways, antipsychotics and schizophrenia


Murtada Alsaif summarises a small cohort study that uses shotgun mass spectrometry proteomic profiling to unravel the molecular pathways involved with antipsychotic response in people with schizophrenia.

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Improving diagnosis of bipolar disorder: can blood-based diagnostic panels help?


Can blood-based diagnostic panels help us reduce the misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment often experienced by people with bipolar disorder? Murtada Alsaif reviews a recent retrospective study that has some encouraging findings for biologically identifying the disease.

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